As I was driving home from the swimming pool today, I heard that Russia’s representative was refusing to accede to John Kerry’s request that the Russians sit down for face-to-face negotiations with the Ukrainians. My first thought was that the report was way too polite. Kerry’s not requesting, he’s begging.
My second thought was that this is what happens when the President of the United States spends five years making it plain that America will not use its power and, worse, that the president’s word cannot be relied upon. Kerry has no leverage.
As for my third thought, I didn’t actually have a third thought. Instead, I’m borrowing from a friend, who forwarded his thoughts on the matter to me:
Obama and Kerry attempting to use diplomacy with Putin is like trying to use reason with robbers during a home invasion. As they are talking, he’s filling his pockets and getting the tactical advantage. If he gets away with this who’s next? Further, why would anyone choose to negotiate over something they can simply take?
All of the above would be amusing if it was written into a lunatic novel. (By the way, if you’re looking for a wonderful, clever, laugh-out-loud funny lunatic novel, I highly recommend Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls: A Novel of International Intrigue, Pork-Crazed Termites, and Motherhood.) But this is isn’t a lunatic novel. It’s real life, and Obama has managed to destroy in five years almost 70 years of American influence.